How come Tarquin can get into Oxford but Jimmy can't?

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tagzt
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#21
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#21
(Original post by Egan1)
Some universities discriminate against candidates that apply for 'rival' (?) universities- eg if you apply to both Oxford and Cambridge you will not be accepted at either etc (there are other universities that do this too- I think Bristol might?)...

Anyway- just some ideas

Egan
you can't apply to both oxford and cambridge in the same year (unless you're applying for some music award or something).

and i don't think the laura spence story is really fair on oxford (i might be biased as i hold an offer to study there) but to be honest, everything at Oxford hinges on the interview and the interviewers can be f***** b******* when it comes to interview. most of them will do anything and everything they can to unsettle you and put pressure on you, for example:

1) at my interview i walked into the room and said "hello", the interviewer replied with "i have somewhere to be so lets rush through this quickly" and every single time i tried giving an answer to a question i was met with "no you are wrong" even before i had finished (or even started) a sentence!

2) at one of my friends interviews he went to shake the hand of the interviewer, who decided to laugh and turn the other way.

there are loads of different techinques they use to see how you respond under pressure and usually, this is all they care about (extra curricular activites don't come it the picture as much as they used to). at harvard things are different, they have a picture of admitting "well-rounded" students and laura spence was definetely well rounded (she had excellent grades and had done lots of musical activites and other things). so whereas at oxford she could not cope with the interview pressure and her "well roundness" did not help her, at harvard it got her a place.

i think private schooled applicants have a certain "arrogance" that helps them at oxbridge...and i mean that as a compliment. they seem to be far more confident than state school pupils (maybe because they have received the best education or are wealthy or the whole prestige of oxbridge does not intimidate them) and this would help them cope with the pressure at interview. im not an interviewer so i don't know exactly how it works but from my experience i think this is true.
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Toyosi
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#22
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#22
I think ur probably right about the arrogance. At my Oxford interview the private school people actually seemed to be more intelligent. I can't really explain what i mean by this so u'll have to take my word on it. Maybe it's the way they walk and talk, I dunno but i can imagine that confidence in themselves could take them further than most people, like me who don't feel like they know what they're on about. And some of the interviewers can be right s**ts who are determined to make life difficult when they should be trying to create a more positve atmosphere so that u can really show how good you are.
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LH
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Toyosi)
I think ur probably right about the arrogance. At my Oxford interview the private school people actually seemed to be more intelligent. I can't really explain what i mean by this so u'll have to take my word on it. Maybe it's the way they walk and talk, I dunno but i can imagine that confidence in themselves could take them further than most people, like me who don't feel like they know what they're on about. And some of the interviewers can be right s**ts who are determined to make life difficult when they should be trying to create a more positve atmosphere so that u can really show how good you are.
Private school pupils would generally be more confident, and wiould have been coached for the interview. To say that they were more intelligent is a sweeping generalisation, but many intelligent people do go to private schools, just as many go to state schools.
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Toyosi
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#24
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I didn't say they were more intelligent. I said they SEEMED more intelligent as in they act with more confidence in themselves. Very important difference there methinks.
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LH
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#25
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(Original post by Toyosi)
I didn't say they were more intelligent. I said they SEEMED more intelligent as in they act with more confidence in themselves. Very important difference there methinks.
Point accepted. Though I think that many who go to selective state (grammar) schools also develop more self confidence.
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Toyosi
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#26
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Its really hard to say whether they would or not. I go a selective grammar school but having never been to a comp. i can't say whether I'm more confident as a result. You don't have to be that clever to get into a grammar school. I sometime's wonder how some of people from my school managed it cause they're complete retards ( no offence people from my school ). All I know is I felt a bit out of my league at first and I'm not the only person from my grammar school who felt so. Obviously you have to be pretty good for them to want an interview so it's not like we were dumber than everyone else there. One of my friends who is really clever and popular and funny was too scared to go on his own to his medicine open day so he went to his mate's physics one instead. I would seriously never have classed this guy as having confidence problems. I think the whole Oxford thing is just stupid and intimidating for no reason.
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LH
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#27
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(Original post by Toyosi)
Its really hard to say whether they would or not. I go a selective grammar school but having never been to a comp. i can't say whether I'm more confident as a result. You don't have to be that clever to get into a grammar school. I sometime's wonder how some of people from my school managed it cause they're complete retards ( no offence people from my school ). All I know is I felt a bit out of my league at first and I'm not the only person from my grammar school who felt so. Obviously you have to be pretty good for them to want an interview so it's not like we were dumber than everyone else there. One of my friends who is really clever and popular and funny was too scared to go on his own to his medicine open day so he went to his mate's physics one instead. I would seriously never have classed this guy as having confidence problems. I think the whole Oxford thing is just stupid and intimidating for no reason.
I also go to a grammar, and I know exactly what you mean about the retards thing, some people have coaching for months before the exam, just scrape in, and then struggle for 5 or 7 years.

I suppose if you go to a comp and are the best by some way, you will have more confidence, because they have actual retards as well as people of average intelligence. I think that my confidence has imporved because of some of the activities our school puts us through and participation with charites like Young Enterprise.
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tagzt
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#28
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(Original post by Toyosi)
I know is I felt a bit out of my league at first and I'm not the only person from my grammar school who felt so. Obviously you have to be pretty good for them to want an interview so it's not like we were dumber than everyone else there. One of my friends who is really clever and popular and funny was too scared to go on his own to his medicine open day so he went to his mate's physics one instead. I would seriously never have classed this guy as having confidence problems. I think the whole Oxford thing is just stupid and intimidating for no reason.
i agree with you 100%. when i went to my interview at Merton i felt like i had made a really big mistake, i found out that the private school pupils were all ranked according to their ability and the best ones were told to apply to the top colleges (i had no idea that Merton was a very highly regarded college, i just liked the gardens!)

if im honest, the four days i spent at oxford seemed like hell...i felt like i had completely messed up my interviews and felt like everyone was more "educated" and intelligent than me...im not really used to feeling intellectually inferior as im one of the "top performers" at my grammar school (he says trying not to sound like an arrogant *******).

but looking back, after the written test i spoke to a lot of the private school applicants and they all had roughly the same answers as each other but mine were different (it was a multiple choice test) so i thought i had screwed it up...they all went back for a second written test (which they told me meant they were the main people under consideration and the test was to confirm their abilities) so i gave up all hope...then i got an acceptance letter which goes to show that the confidence of public schools applicants doesn't always win out over the more intimidated state school applicant!
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#29
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#29
(Original post by Unregistered)
Scenario:

Two A-Level students have exactly the same grades (AAA) in exactly the same subjects, and are applying to do exactly the same degree course at Oxford University.

Tarquin lives in an upper-class area in Buckinghamshire. He attended Eton and enjoys playing classical music with his school chums. He has relatives who have all studied at Oxford.

Jimmy lives on a council estate in Newcastle. He attended the local comprehensive school and enjoys playing drum 'n bass on his decks. None of his relatives have studied at any University let alone Oxford.

Tarquin is given an unconditional offer whereas Jimmy is rejected immediately.

Why was Tarquin accepted but not Jimmy?
And you've presented this in an entirely unbiased fashion haven't you! The fact that this sort of idiocy is still hanging around really saddens me-there are so many Oxford students (including myself) who work very hard on access initiatives to get more applications from students from disadvantaged backgrounds (which incidentally is not a category Laura Spence falls into!) and reading something like this makes me realise that whatever we do there's always going to be some people who will spout off about us without being over-endowed with knowledge about the Oxford admissions procedure. I presume you also know that of the five students who got in at Magdalene, four were from state schools and female!
Actually though, the state/independent distinction is not especially helpful- many of the students who come from state schools and are at Oxford went to very good ones. It is not a good indicator of class, privilege etc, and I think the refusal to accept this is one reason why I'm one of the few working clas students around the place. As with most of the other 'elite' unis (according to my mates there) while there exists great social variety- so the stereotype about being all upper middle class doesnt really wash, there is also a strong 'rah' component everywhere. Sadly the only institutions that come anywhere close to being socially representative are those at the less high achieving end of the scale (btw I live on a council estate before anyone starts!). Which makes me wonder why Oxford always gets singled out...
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Unregistered
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#30
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#30
It's all to do with the accent.
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#31
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#31
oh my god you guys annoy me!!

my bro went to Eton and i went to a private school too. you are being so unfair on us. we have both worked our guts out solidly for years, and it's paid off, he's studying EEM at Keble (ox) and i'm about to study Biochem at Wadham (ox).

Please give us some credit for what we've achieved, we're just people after all and we've all sat the same exams as each other.

i admit my bro was given a lot of advice for his interview, but i assure you i wasn't. the only advice we were gievn at school was ''apply to St Hilda's girls [it's an all girls school], you'll have more chance''. and that was it (!!).

i wish everyone luck who is applying to oxbridge, it's a tough shell to crack but hard work will get you there. i spent the 4 months prior to my interview preparing every night at home...maybe you guys should start doing some preparation yourselves instead of complaining on here. after all no-one can change your future apart from yourself.

ps: i don't mean this in a rude way.

b x
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It'sPhil...
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#32
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(Original post by Unregistered)
It's all to do with the accent.
To an extent i would say that the way you speak does have an impact on whether or not you're accepted. Clearly a well spoken, proper english type person with a posh accent will make a better impression, regardless of intellect, than a rudeboy who has a saaf lahndahn accent innit. But nobody like this ever applies, all the people there are roughly the same class and intelligence ie all middle to upper class and very intelligent, so as long as you make some coherent sense you won't stand out.

(Original post by Unregistered)
...you are being so unfair on us...
Oh i'm sorry, should everyone sympathise with your tough situation!? I don't have first hand experience, but I can imagine being brought up in a rich family, with the luxury of the finest education can be really tough. Lets not worry about those people who whinge that they didn't get into oxbridge, despite clearly being clever enough just because they don't fit into the rah poshkid type. You've obviously had a really hard life
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LH
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#33
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(Original post by Unregistered)
oh my god you guys annoy me!!

my bro went to Eton and i went to a private school too. you are being so unfair on us. we have both worked our guts out solidly for years, and it's paid off, he's studying EEM at Keble (ox) and i'm about to study Biochem at Wadham (ox).

Please give us some credit for what we've achieved, we're just people after all and we've all sat the same exams as each other.

i admit my bro was given a lot of advice for his interview, but i assure you i wasn't. the only advice we were gievn at school was ''apply to St Hilda's girls [it's an all girls school], you'll have more chance''. and that was it (!!).

i wish everyone luck who is applying to oxbridge, it's a tough shell to crack but hard work will get you there. i spent the 4 months prior to my interview preparing every night at home...maybe you guys should start doing some preparation yourselves instead of complaining on here. after all no-one can change your future apart from yourself.

ps: i don't mean this in a rude way.

b x
I sympathise with you. My state school has a private school atmosphere and is actually older than most private schools. We realise that you too work hard but we have to work even harder often, and get little extra tuition and are not 'groomed' in any way. The attitiude that private schools encourage in their pupils is called arrogance to us and most of us know that we could get brilliant marks when you live at school, have small classes, extra tuition and are closely followed ion your progress. The only reason my parents didn't send me to a private (it could possibly even win the title 'public') school is because the grammar school I go to now is better than the private school.

I'm glad I am at a state school, you get a feeling of the real world, which private schools, particularly those like Eton and Harrow shield you from. You also come to realise that it is not the rich that run the company, but the workers, the cogs in the wheel.

After that nice little speech, I'll finish this message.
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Unregistered
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#34
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#34
You know nothing about me or my life!!

That's what i'm trying to point out.

We sent my bro to Eton, but we lived on nothing for those 5 years. He had a bursary and my parents struggled. They sent him there cos his eyes lit up when he went for an interview and they couldn't say no to him...cos he was so excited.

I really wish you wouldn't assume things about private school pupils. I have never been given extra tuition and neither have any of my friends, it's not offered. Teachers are always teachers, they have a life and a low salary, we don't get special treatment.

My parents moved to this country 23 years ago, with only 20 pounds in their pocket. Their first purchase was a plate and a spoon. My dad used to carry potatoes from door to door trying to sell them.

Don't assume things about people, it isn't fair. I would never dream of turning around and saying comprehensive school pupils aren't as intelligent as private school pupils, that's just a stereotype that we do that.

We have worked hard to get here. We're happy and comfortable now, but I have worked very hard at school to get into Oxford. Give us some credit!

Dad now drives an E-Class Mercedes, we live in a large 5 bedroom house in Berkshire, and my parents are successful business people.

Hope you understand now.

b x
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It'sPhil...
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What annoys me is peole like you who try and make out that theyve had it hard when clearly you've had a much more priveliged upbringing than most people let alone someone like Jimmy whose trying to make something of himself. Private schooling is better - nobody argues with that. If you think you didn't get special treatment why did your parents pay for private schooling? And the overexaggerated rags to riches story didn't wash sorry. You say you've lived on nothing and worked hard but youve had it so easy compared to so many people, and you say i know nothing about you, but you havent actually said anything different to what i said.
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#36
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#36
(Original post by It'sPhil...)
What annoys me is peole like you who try and make out that theyve had it hard when clearly you've had a much more priveliged upbringing than most people let alone someone like Jimmy whose trying to make something of himself. Private schooling is better - nobody argues with that. If you think you didn't get special treatment why did your parents pay for private schooling? And the overexaggerated rags to riches story didn't wash sorry. You say you've lived on nothing and worked hard but youve had it so easy compared to so many people, and you say i know nothing about you, but you havent actually said anything different to what i said.
Everyone is always trying to make something of themselves. Private schooling or not. I don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on schooling. If you don't have the potential then Eton/Harrow/any other private school can't help. Private schools are SELECTIVE. They SELECT people with potential. That's the difference. And I would prefer it if you didn't get personal about my parents hardship, if you don't agree with it then that's fine just don't call it an 'overexaggerated rags to riches story' because that doesn't do them justice. Furthermore, why do private school pupils have it easier? Just cos we may have a few extra netballs and a few more computers why on earth does that make life easier? I won't take generalisations like that and I'm willing to carry on this discussion until you understand that we work just as hard as comprehensive pupils, and we most definitely do not have it "easy". I'm not saying we have it harder than others, just that we're on a much more similar level than people like you like to believe.

b x
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It'sPhil...
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#37
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Everyone is always trying to make something of themselves. Private schooling or not. I don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on schooling. If you don't have the potential then Eton/Harrow/any other private school can't help. Private schools are SELECTIVE. They SELECT people with potential. That's the difference. And I would prefer it if you didn't get personal about my parents hardship, if you don't agree with it then that's fine just don't call it an 'overexaggerated rags to riches story' because that doesn't do them justice. Furthermore, why do private school pupils have it easier? Just cos we may have a few extra netballs and a few more computers why on earth does that make life easier? I won't take generalisations like that and I'm willing to carry on this discussion until you understand that we work just as hard as comprehensive pupils, and we most definitely do not have it "easy". I'm not saying we have it harder than others, just that we're on a much more similar level than people like you like to believe.

b x
yeah ok... im sorta saying a different thing and cant really be bothered to argue. I dont doubt that you work hard at school and i agree there's a limit to what private schooling can do. When i say 'easy' i mean more generally you have a comfortable life and for the most part school is your main concern, whereas some people shall we say less fortunate have a lotta other stuff to deal with, on top of working hard at school. trust me i know.

Anywho, i dont really want any beef so ill say congrats on getting into oxford hope you do well, and dont take any stuff personally, it was mainly just nonsense generalisations and stereotypes, im just annoyed at something slightly different and decided to take it out on you
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LH
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#38
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Everyone is always trying to make something of themselves. Private schooling or not. I don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on schooling. If you don't have the potential then Eton/Harrow/any other private school can't help. Private schools are SELECTIVE. They SELECT people with potential. That's the difference. And I would prefer it if you didn't get personal about my parents hardship, if you don't agree with it then that's fine just don't call it an 'overexaggerated rags to riches story' because that doesn't do them justice. Furthermore, why do private school pupils have it easier? Just cos we may have a few extra netballs and a few more computers why on earth does that make life easier? I won't take generalisations like that and I'm willing to carry on this discussion until you understand that we work just as hard as comprehensive pupils, and we most definitely do not have it "easy". I'm not saying we have it harder than others, just that we're on a much more similar level than people like you like to believe.

b x
Private school aren't just selective. They are willing to accept people with money. State selective (grammar) schools select people with potential but don't make them pay anything. Many grammar schools have better results than private schools too.
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Egan1
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#39
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We don't have the grammar/comprehensive system where I am- so basically it's either comprehensive (everyone just says 'public' school but stupidly that's actually a word for 'public' schools *grumbles*) or private...*egan forgets the following point she was going to make ?!?*-blah!
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tagzt
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#40
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(Original post by Unregistered)
Everyone is always trying to make something of themselves. Private schooling or not. I don't understand why so much emphasis is placed on schooling. If you don't have the potential then Eton/Harrow/any other private school can't help. Private schools are SELECTIVE. They SELECT people with potential. That's the difference. And I would prefer it if you didn't get personal about my parents hardship, if you don't agree with it then that's fine just don't call it an 'overexaggerated rags to riches story' because that doesn't do them justice. Furthermore, why do private school pupils have it easier? Just cos we may have a few extra netballs and a few more computers why on earth does that make life easier? I won't take generalisations like that and I'm willing to carry on this discussion until you understand that we work just as hard as comprehensive pupils, and we most definitely do not have it "easy". I'm not saying we have it harder than others, just that we're on a much more similar level than people like you like to believe.

b x
i don't think anyone is trying to doubt how hard a private school person works...wot i am saying is that when i went to my oxford interview i felt really intimidated. the whole idea of studying in beautiful surroundings with the leading academics in the world was all new and sometimes scary for me. however the private schooled pupils seemed to take it in their stride, the whole "oxford prestige" held no fear for them because as far as they were concerned it is the norm. so when a state school (an average state school, not one of the top ones) goes into an interview, they have this whole heap of baggage they take in with them (will i fit in?, this is all so surreal) whereas a private school (or top state school) pupil just goes in and concentrates 100% on the interview. of course both of them will be nervous about the interview but the whole confidence thing is where i think private school pupils have the upper hand.

your story was amazing and shows what you can acheive regardless of your circumstances. good luck at oxford
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